Overruling the voter: What a slap in the face to the majority of Ashlanders who voted for change in the November election. Last Tuesday night (2/5/19), our mayor and Councilors Slattery, Jensen, Rosenthal and Steffinger voted to appoint Mike Morris to the Citizens Budget Committee.
Morris’s long-term service to the city is commendable, and Ashlanders admire and thank him. However, he was defeated by a margin of 2-1 because of his perceived lack of competence around the budget and deference to the status quo.
A Daily Tidings editorial on Nov. 8 states, “Incumbent Councilor Michael Morris was shown the door in Position 2, as challenger Tonya Graham seized 61 percent of the vote, a clear signal that voters want new blood. The city’s budget was a point of contention, and Morris and (Jackie) Bachman represented the status quo, for good or ill ”The “clear signal” from the community was obviously not heeded. There were three other viable candidates. Significantly, the four councilors who voted for Morris didn’t interview or even contact these candidates prior to the selection.
Our mayor and Councilors Slattery, Jensen, Rosenthal and Steffinger did, however, clearly signal they are digging in ahead of the upcoming 2019-2021 budget process. To appoint someone to the Budget Committee who was defeated because of his positions relative to the budget is an affront to the Ashland community. It underscores this mayor and City Council’s serious flaw: not listening to its citizens.
Ken WilsonAshland Citizens for Economic Sustainability (ACES)
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